Factories Feel The Coronavirus Slump

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    Factories in the U.S. are hunkering down like the rest of us. Manufacturing activity slowed in March, according to a survey conducted by the Institute for Supply Management . Production and factory employment fell sharply, as the coronavirus pandemic and other problems weighed on the factory sector. New orders hit their lowest level in 11 years. Factories were among the first to feel the effects of the deadly virus months ago, as supply lines from China were disrupted . Export markets also suffered. And now that the virus is spreading rapidly in the U.S., domestic manufacturing operations are also feeling the squeeze. Some large auto plants have shut down altogether, in an effort to protect workers. Other factories continue to operate, but “social distancing” can pose challenges in a factory environment. One machine shop operator reported a 30% drop in productivity. “The coronavirus pandemic and shocks in global energy markets have impacted all manufacturing sectors,” said Timothy

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